Games Designer in Residence: Sophia George

Sophia George with her BAFTA

Sophia George with her BAFTA

Sophia George was Games Designer in Residence
October 2013 - March 2014

A partnership between the V&A, V&A at Dundee and the University of Abertay Dundee. Organised in collaboration with The Association for UKInteractive Entertainment (UKIE).

About Sophia

Sophia George, BAFTA winner and Chair of Swallowtail Games, was appointed as its first ever Games Designer in Residence. At just 22, Sophia is already an accomplished game designer, winning the 2012 BAFTA Ones to Watch Award for the prototype of Tick Tock Toys, a family-friendly puzzle game for iPhone and iPad. Following her BAFTA win, she completed Tick Tock Toys and released it to international acclaim. The game received promotional features on Apple’s App Store in over 40 countries worldwide.

My Residency

To be appointed as the first ever V&A Games Designer in Residence was a dream come true and an incredible recognition of everything I’ve worked so hard for – from Dare to be Digital, to winning a BAFTA, to releasing Tick Tock Toys. Computer games are an incredible artistic and creative medium that’s often overlooked, despite them blending elements of many traditional practices – including pure art, animation, character design, architectural design, music and much more. The V&A is leading the way by embracing computer games as a creative activity and by opening up its collection for interpretation by a game designer.

Screen grab of Tick Tock Toys game by Sophia George

Screen grab of Tick Tock Toys game by Sophia

I used the history of British design shown in the Britain 1500-1900 galleries as a starting point for my research. One third of the residency time was dedicated to public engagement, inviting a variety of audiences to experience and participate in the creative process of game design though an innovative programme of events and activities at the V&A. I have been active in calling for more women to enter the games industry and was invited to sit on BAFTA’s Working Group on encouraging equality in the industry. I  ran a project with a group of students from a girls’ school as part of the residency to increase interest in this rapidly growing area of design.

The aim of the residency is to release a finished game in the summer of 2014, following a period of game production at Abertay University from March 2014, that offers a new and exciting interpretation of the V&A collections, as well as encouraging visitor participation and learning from the Britain 1500-1900 galleries.

Follow Sophia's residency on her blog

Links

Sophia George's website

Video

Interview with Sophia George and BBC Technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones
A preview of 'The Strawberry Thief' with BBC Scotland's science correspondent, Kenneth Macdonald

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